It's a really crappy Photoshop job, even by my standards. Sue me. I had a late interview and just got back.

July 7, 2010

Imagine a world where all nations work together. Imagine if we rallied around a common cause and once again, with child-like wonder, looked up at the stars and wondered, “What if…”

Well, the right-wing in this country is seriously hampering my dreams, damn it!

In an interview with al-Jazeera, the current NASA administrator Charles Bolden said the following:

One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering — science, math and engineering.

What a lot of the pundits failed to mention, however, is that he made it clear this was not a diplomatic mission. Scientists don’t do politics (most anyway) and politicians don’t do science. This was purely an internal thing. Get the scientists and researchers to reach out to areas of the world they don’t usually reach to for support, knowledge, and inspiration.

Sounds reasonable.

But nooooo… Can’t have it. Won’t have it. Behold the Reverend Rush Limbaugh:

I guess this is a man that’s never used soap, math, or a watch. As pro-gun as the right is, you’d think they’d thank the Muslim world for inventing black powder (no, China got it later) and the other things like algebra and the power of medicine. These and many other inventions made our modern world possible. When Europe got stuck in the Middle Ages, the Muslim world took the torch and kept science alive.

That was then.

Now, Iran is actually declaring war of subversive haircuts. And let’s not forget BoobQuake.

Yes, the Middle East has fallen far since they ruled in the scientific fields, but they still have a lot to offer. Of course, don’t tell that to Nostradumbass himself, Glenn Beck:

Note how he goes on about how making a culture feel “good” about its history is such a “progressive” idea. And how he somehow forgot that he himself lauded the moon landing and NASA as one of the great achievements of our country.

I’m sorry, but isn’t this the man that goes on and on about American Exceptionalism? The idea that we are great and should teach our children we are great just because their mothers popped them out on this side of the border? No dice. Whatever the Muslim world is now, in the past, it helped science move along and sheltered knowledge from the Dark Ages.

NASA isn’t sending the scientists and engineers on goodwill missions. They’re still going to launch probes. They’re still going to work on the International Space Station. They’re still going to make you think that astronauts really eat astronaut ice cream.

They don’t.

To Another World by =qaz2008 on deviantART

NASA will continue doing what it does, except now it’s going to look in other parts of the globe for talent, ideas, and support. Is this so bad? I wonder if Beck and Limbaugh look at Star Trek and go, “Yeah, not white enough.”

Bad enough there aren’t Mexicans in science fiction with a few exceptions… now we can’t even work with ANYONE brown.

Beck, Limbaugh, kiss my dark matter cluster you intellectual white holes.

  • New Jersey has a new Muslim mayor… and an orthodox Jew for deputy mayor. I smell sitcom!
  • Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls is performing in Cabaret. Behold the awesome freak that is Miss Palmer in full costume striking a pose.
  • Prince is leaving the internet because he says it’s over. he’s not selling through iTunes and even shut down his website. Do you think this will affect his sales at all? I think we can all agree at this point that the internet isn’t a fad. It’s not Dane Cook.
  • This kid? Perhaps about to get jumped by every kid that recognizes him. You don’t talk smack to the internet and just walk away.
  • 4Chan strikes again. Justin Beiber held a poll on Twitter to see where he would travel next. Apparently, he’s going to North Korea. Good luck there, buddy. Nice knowing you.
  • I’m going to watch the first two Twilight movies this week to prepare for the inevitable reviews at work. And yet things like this remind me I’m not alone.
  • Speaking of which, we all know Edward Cullen is no vamp. Want to know the truth and get some hilarious mental images at the same time? Trust me. It’s about the most hilarious thing I’ve read in a while.
  • Despite her country losing, Larissa Riquelme will still strip for her nation! Although she’s bared it all before (NSFW), this is still a treat for millions of men (and some of you ladies). If you’re at work, here’s a safe gallery.
  • And finally, once Ah-nold is done with this whole governor of California thing, maybe he’ll make the movie we all want to see:

Learning How to Spell: Part 2

Even if it's jibberish, work with it.

July 1, 2010

I recently talked with a friend over FB chat. Over various subjects including gaming, and a reminder that while my job may induce headaches it also makes a difference, he said he wished he could make something creative. He just didn’t have the time.

A legitimate concern… And so I gave some advice I’d like to share with those readers with a similar concerns.

“I’m not creative enough.”

“I can’t write.”

“I don’t have time.”

Poppycock, I say!

writer’s block by ~sfalco on deviantART

Buy a notebook, something small you can carry around in a backpack, purse, or on your person. I own a Moleskine notebook with no lines that’s perfect for doodles and random notes at any angle. Not only does the book have pockets and a band to keep the whole thing closed, but it’s very durable. They’re made with acid-free paper. As someone who spent the better part of his college life working in university and church archives, let me tell you that acid-free paper is a must if you want to keep things around for a very long time.

Plus, you’ll feel all nice and pretentious with a Moleskine. Try it!

Buy a set of pens. I prefer gel pens since I don’t have to press too hard on the paper to actually write, and when you get inspiration and just want to keep going, a gel-pen is salvation in plastic. Fine tips are best so the ink doesn’t run everywhere. Treat your tools well, folks.

I always keep at least two pens on me. And don’t lend pens. People tend to keep them. And I loves my pens… Loves them, I say!

Pens by ~heroleon on deviantART

And finally, perhaps the most important part of all…

Listen to people. Some of the best lines I’ve ever heard have come from people just talking and trying to think fast. I write these choice quotes in my notebook and often look to them for inspiration or at least a chuckle.

A few choice quotes:

“Kennedy’s not dead. He’s in Cuba with Tupac.”

“I’m too Mexican to be vegan.”

“Where are you going?”
“South Carolina.”
“…Why there?”

“You are so full of beans and your nose is growing.”

“She’s going to come in and growl! Like an angry mother seahorse!”

To a Homeland Security employee: “Is that bacon? I smell a pork-based product.”

“How did you sneak in here!?”
“I’m wearing sneakers. So I can sneak.”

“Fuck you, rainbow-cake!”

“I did some morally reprehensible things on Friday… but I enjoyed them.”

“You are a broken cloud.”

“The strip club reminded me you can’t buy happiness.”

“It’s important to talk about sex, religion, and politics, just not before you put on a condom.”

Any one of these lines could be the basis for a character, a story, maybe a drawing, a poem, anything.

I remember working in DC and having one of the legislative assistants lament that, despite how much he enjoyed his job, he wished he could create something. If you really want to make something, even if it’s just haiku, devote some time each day, even ten minutes. Build up. Break it down. Rework it until you’re satisfied.

Perhaps most critically, have an ego about it. You can’t try to make something and think it will be horrible. That’s for editing or revisions. As you work, listen to inspirational music or music appropriate to whatever you’re making. Keep telling yourself it will be incredible. Force yourself to finish it.

You can create art. All of you. It’s just a matter of the right tools and mentality. Now get to work.

Here linky, linky, linky…

  • Model Larissa Riquelme has said that if Paraguay wins the World Cup, she will run through the streets naked in nothing more than paint. If you weren’t excited about the world cup now, GET EXCITED!
  • Great news in sex, folks. Scientists are just two or three years away from releasing the male birth control pill. You only need to take one pill every three months and human trials start next year.
  • Did you know that if you have more than one earring per ear you are a DIRTY, DIRTY WHORE?! Me neither…
  • Wizards of the Coast released an article detailing the pitfalls of playing a “villainous” race like drow or gnolls. It’s quite funny in a lot of areas, including the apparent lack of respect the company’s D&D products have for gnolls. How many other player races get beaten up every over cover or drawing?
  • Christina Hendricks, patron saint of hawt redheads, gave an interview where she talks about self-esteem and body image among other things. Part of me wonders if she’s serious about being so shocked people think she’s hot because she’s curvy, but it’s nice to see that we’re moving away from the stick-figure ideal and going back to women with curves. Go, curvy women!
  • And finally, this may be the funniest commercial I’ve seen all week. So, who has a man that’s cooked a gourmet cake in a kitchen he built?